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Governor Christie: Repeated lockouts reflect “bad management”

Dec 21, 2012, 6:10 PM EDT

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speak Getty Images

After Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama weighed in on the lockout, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had some harsh things to say about the NHL’s management, according to the Bergen Record

“This is the third time this has happened in recent memory,” Christie said, referring to the 1994-95 and 2004-05 lockouts, as well as the ongoing one. “You know, that’s bad management.”

Christie worries about the impact that the lockout is having on the downtown Newark and on the New Jersey Devils, given their recent financial difficulties.

The team had some issues with overdue loans, but they reportedly reached a deal on the matter in early September that would allow owner Jeff Vanderbeek to maintain control of the Devils for at least two more years.

Forbes recently valued the Devils at $205 million, which was good enough for 19th place in the league and roughly one-fifth the value of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

  1. DTF31 - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    No kidding. Imagine if any other business with unionised employees had a lockout every time the contract was up.

  2. Jeff - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    He’s right. Bad management all the way around – individual team owners, league and players association. All have managed themselves horribly.

  3. trick9 - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    And yet nobody is getting sacked. Infact Bettman just keep collecting bigger and bigger paycheck after each year.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:37 PM

      Yup, more than doubled since 04-05. And you can bet if this is ever settled Bettman will give himself a pat on the back and a nice, gigantic bonus. If the league doesn’t collapse I’m sure his salary will be around $12-15 million by the next lockout.

  4. crosberries - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Don’t normally like politicians but this guy is a genius

  5. ducksk - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    The fat man speaks truth. He should run NHL and nhlpa. Then president.

    • sportsfan69 - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:40 PM

      I took guts for Christie to support the President. Actually, I hope he switches political parties. The Republican party is in a total self destruction mode. It’s controlled by the 1 percent crowd. It’s muscle is the Christian right wing- Bible thumpers.

      • badintent - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:00 PM

        Damn right(no pun intended). ! I enjoyed voting for Mr. Nader, was shocked to see him get threaten with arrest for trying to walk in the parking lot of the TV presidential debate venue. Both the Democrats and Republicans fear him like no one else.Gore still hates him to this day Claims Nader cost him Florida and the election..Poor baby.Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.anyone see my chits ?

      • hockeyfan28 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:06 AM

        1 percent lol you should look up George Soros find a democrat that is in office that criticizes his money then get back to me.

      • blomfeld - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:55 AM

        Sportsfan & Badintent – you guys are “on the mark” man ! … seriously …

      • grudenthediva - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:59 AM

        How cute, someone remembered to parrot George Soros’ name on a random blog, even if he couldn’t tell him apart from the local Greek grocer.

        Hey, how’d Sheldon Adelson’s money work this year? LOL

      • hockeyfan28 - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:46 AM

        you mean George I’m not allowed in Russia cause Putin threw all my billionaire buddies in jail Soros the guy just picked up from right wing talking points that guy? maybe the George Soros who shoved all the money into getting dem secretary of states elected so they can get favorable outcomes like Al Franken’s recount? no have no idea who he is….axels on and his casino seems he’s doing just fine since the republicans run the House of Representatives and do to redistricting are likely to do so for the next 8 years.

      • east96st - Dec 22, 2012 at 9:15 AM

        “axels on and his casino seems he’s doing just fine since the republicans run the House of Representatives and do to redistricting are likely to do so for the next 8 years.”

        So, hockeyfan, you’re actually proud of the fact that due to gerrymandering, a blatant affront to democracy and essentially rigging the election, the Republicans can hold on to the House? I thought you tea baggers were such patriots (even though I’ve only met one that ever served his country)! I would think you would be outraged by gerrymandering since it is denying the voice and the will of the people. Or is that only bad when Democrats do it? You’re a prefect example of what’s wrong this country. You vote blindly for a party instead of examining a candidate. BOTH parties are doing a damn fine job of destroying this Nation and it’s assclowns like you that allow it to happen because they know all they need to do is feed you some propaganda on talk radio and you’ll start salivating and stop thinking. There is no political party that represent s the average American anymore. Citizens United destroyed the last hope of that. Unless you’ve got millions, you simply are irrelevant. Until they take the money out of the game, we need to wake up to the fact that it’s not a democracy anymore.

      • hockeyfan28 - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        yep that’s the problem with the Republican Party they actually don’t fight back unless they have no choice you should look up how John Kennedy got elected in 1960 instead of watching Chris Matthews all the time to know Democrats have been doing this sort of thing for a very long time….once you get out in the world a bit and you start paying taxes and working you’ll change we all do….and judging from your words about citizens united your probably around college age give or take a few years well guess what if you’ve gone to college or are going all these college administrative boards who have you buried in student loans and never ever seem to lower their tuition rates….guess what? They’re all run by one party and it isn’t the Republicans.

  6. dprouse - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Notwithstanding my pro management leanings, Chris Christie is spot on here. I understood the 04-05 lockout, but this one was poorly managed and communicated right from the get go. The NHL failed to make their case effectively, and their communications have been terrible all along. You can plausibly blame the actual policies on the Board of Governors, but their salesman and public face is Bettman, and he has been awful.

    • blomfeld - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:03 PM

      “he has been awful” ? …

      dprouse – No doubt that’s a popular sentiment in the context what what’s currently playing out now. However when you view Bettman’s body of work in it’s entirety, then a valid argument could just as be easily made to the contrary. During his soon to be 20 year tenure, Bettman has accomplished among other things …

      – a “tenfold” increase in average player salary (256 K to 2.4 million)

      – an “eightfold” increase in league turnover (400 million to 3.3 billion)

      – the addition of 6 x new franchises, increasing the NHL’s footprint by 25% (24 to 30 teams)

      – overseen the most dramatic “rules overhaul” ever, aimed to improve the game

      – overseen the most “innovative” marketing concept since the ’72 Summit Series (WC)

      I too like many others have questioned the wisdom of his “sunbelt” vision. In fact, many would argue that “that” is at the crux of this current turmoil. And yet as an ardent and loyal supporter of the “original” sunbelt team (LA Kings), I realize that it’s almost hypocritical of me to start bashing the likes of Phoenix or Nashville … perhaps they too will one day become Stanley Cup Champions like us ? The other thing which has recently dawned on me is the fact that “growing pains” were probably always going to be inevitable, given the sheer scale of what Bettman has done for the game. An analogy could perhaps be made to your United States of America … would it be reasonable to expect your country to be able grow from 13 states to 50 states with no conflict or upset ? … of course not. I’ve even had cause to reconsider my entire thinking regarding this current lockout, which I suspect to be a “contrived” ruse with a “predetermined” start date. Perhaps some underhanded “cunning and guile” is the only way to get things done for the long term interest ? I know myself only too well from personal experience, that playing the “Joe Square” nice guy role in the merciless world of commerce can get you killed, figuratively speaking.

      The bottom line is that I think it’s important to never lose focus of the big picture. On February 1st, Gary Bruce Bettman will mark his 20th anniversary as league commissioner. And so when you stand back at look at where we’ve come from then, it’s hard to argue that the game hasn’t done well since then, all things considered.

      My name is Blomfeld and I support Gary Bettman ! :)

      • badintent - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:09 PM

        Preach it brother ! And don’t forget the Winter Classic games.

      • mp1131211 - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:31 PM

        What is with all this high praise lately for the slew of recent rule changes? Just because we are in lockout doesn’t mean you should forget what it was like when the players were on the ice:

        In addition to the high volume of complaints about slow play, there was a chorus of calls for rule changes to hits and fighting. Last year, everyone was talking about how the recent rule changes had nearly ruined the game and encouraged cheap head shots.

        Bettman **might** be responsible for the increase in salaries of players, but certainly not him alone. And it certainly hasn’t been his goal. In fact, he’s overseen 3 lockouts all of which involved the league trying to reduce player pay.

        So rather than commend Bettman for doing those things that you listed (excluding the winter cup- was that even his idea??- and the increase in revenue), he should be scolded. His actions have been a slow and steady build up to the present lockout.

      • mp1131211 - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:33 PM

        haha… winter cup. :)

      • id4joey - Dec 22, 2012 at 8:18 AM

        Hear, hear, Blomfeld. My name is id4joey, and I approve your post.

        mp1131211, you write Bettman should not be commended for the good things that happened to the game since becoming commissioner because it was not solely his doing. Then, you suggest he should be scolded because his actions have been a slow and steady build up to the present lockout. So, if things go good it’s not all his doing, but when things go sour throw him under the bus because it’s all his doing. Wow! I’d hate to have you as my boss…..

      • mp1131211 - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM

        You missed the point Joey. I said the things you listed aren’t all the great except for the WC and revenue increases. I said its not his sole doing that these two good things happened, so they do not outweigh the bad of his tenure.

  7. capesouth - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    That is at the core of the issue here. The same people are responsible for the consistent lockouts. You can change the rules, CBAs, etc but if the same people are always involved, the same results will continue and we’ll have another lockout in 5-10 years. They’ll find a way to lockout. Always goes back to the people. Simple way to look at it. No matter what happens this year, they need to completely refresh the executive teams. Fehr gone. Bettman gone. Board of governors? Shake that up too, if possible. Not sure how that works but I know Jacobs is on it and he has consistently contributed to lockouts. Change is never a bad thing and it is absolutely necessary in this case. They are destroying all opportunities for growth. The people in charge have to be good businessmen but they have to have an equal amount of appreciation for the game and the fans. That is completely lacking right now.

  8. sampulls - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Bettman wanted to meet a full year ago….it was Fehr that postponed until the new season was about to start. Clearly his game of chicken didn’t go as planed,

  9. sportsfan69 - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Christie saves the day.

    • badintent - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:06 PM

      Too funny ! Who knew Charles Barkley looked so good in a bear rag ?

  10. thebadguyswon - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Luckily for the NHL, their fans are idiots that will crawl right back.

    • sportsfan69 - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM

  11. nyrnashty - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    He can’t even manage his own weight! Who is he to criticize others?

  12. ducksk - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    nyrnashty; really pick on someone’s weight? You are a big man and a great human. He is a decent human, may not agree with all his politics, but pick on his wieght? Merry Christmas to ya, I’m sure you’ll be in your church thinking how righteous you are. Pathetic loser.

    • blomfeld - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:15 PM

      ducksk – I don’t agree with everything you say friend, though your writings often resonate with reason and decency. And on this score you are correct again by calling out this nyrnashty creature. Good on you for that ! And thus may you enjoy a holidays filled with halls of echoing song, armies of attractive women and lakes of expensive wine ! :)

  13. ducksk - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Agreed. I’d like to see him 3rd party candidate. Shake things up

  14. sportsfan69 - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    I agree with Blomfeld,

  15. thebigtim2012 - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:41 AM

    This lockout has been so mangled it’s ridickulous. I’m def pro owners but from a pr point of view they have screwed the pooch big time. At this point any type of season played would be a joke. At least there’s college hockey.

  16. russianrangers - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Right on Blomfeld! Thanks God some of us still use their brains rather than political party talking points.

  17. sportsfan69 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Mr. Hockeyfan28,

    I’m actually over 40 y/o, I work for an employer that is worth over 13 billion dollars in assets. I work in a Upper Management position with multiple degrees. Oh bye the way, I have no college debts.

    Now, I’m a wise and mature person today. I’m merciful, civilized, and educated.

    I understand your political views, that’s the way I was in my mid-20’s.

  18. sportsfan69 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Hey Hockeyfan28,

    Do you even know who owns (super pac contributors) Citizen’s United???

  19. russianrangers - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Why are we getting into politics here? Plenty of different sites for that garbage. Stick to hockey boys.

    • blomfeld - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      Friend, considering we’ve no hockey yet, a little bit of politicking is good and it’s fun ! :)

    • sportsfan69 - Dec 22, 2012 at 8:30 PM


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